Gilbert Garcia of the SAEN profiles San Antonian Linda Chavez-Thompson:
That doesn't sound like a formidable resume for running for statewide office in 2010 Texas.
Despite a formidable resume that includes a stint as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, membership on a race-relations advisory board created by then-President Bill Clinton and 40 years on the front lines of the labor movement, Chavez-Thompson had never sought public office until now.
Candidacies with backgrounds like that are no usually winning candidacies. Campaigning and governing are tough; you've really got to want to do them.
Party leaders gathered in Austin last month to brainstorm on promising candidates for the lieutenant governor's race. They had initially approached state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, but she said she declined.
Someone suggested Chavez-Thompson, and before long, her friends and associates began a full-court press to persuade her.
Strategists dropped by her home and made their case. Pollsters broke down the numbers for her. Prominent politicians such as former state Comptroller John Sharp and state Rep. Elliott Naishtat, D-Austin, urged her to run.
"There'd be one day when I thought it was doable," Chavez-Thompson said. "And the next day I'd think, 'Am I crazy or what?'"
Ultimately, Democratic leaders convinced her that she could energize the party's labor base and connect with women and Latinos.
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